BY PAT ANDREWS
For this particular Oktoberfest celebration it was definitely the “road less traveled.” For these beer and fun-loving “tourists” it was simply finding West Jefferson in Trenton. For one evening Sibley Gardens Restaurant took on the look of Bavaria as the Women Celebrating LifeDownriver organization raised funds to continue its mission of supporting women (and men) struggling with breast cancer.
The Sept. 30 event raised nearly $3,400, and Rebecca Kaplar, the current president of WCL, expects the final numbers to rise as additional donations are processed. The oldest group of its kind in the Downriver area, the non-profit accepts requests from and for local women. Checks are sent directly to the individual with the stipulation that they use the money to simply boost their spirits and/or for items such as wigs, medical supplies, day to day bills, or treatment.
The Guest Bartender Night was organized by Grosse Ile resident Lisa Kaiser with help from the membership and her own family. Dubbed “The Von Kaisers,” her brothers, Bill, Mike and Jeff Kaiser, dressed up in Tyrolean hats, lederhosen and long stockings helped to serve German beers and wines and specialty drinks to a packed house.
Assisting them was Greg Pflum, vice president of BASF of Wyandotte; his wife, Marcia; and Jake Faulkner, a grandson of Sibley’s co-owner Sam Piunti. Downriver’s favorite roving accordion player, Natale Emanuele, entertained with German tunes, and a few requested Irish and Italian lilts. Freshly made strudel and salted pretzels were available and guests could purchase gourmet decorated apples that were created by Janis Puskar of Grosse Ile, one of the founders of WCL.
Several gift baskets created by group members and friends were offered as auction items and helped to boost the proceeds for the evening. More information about WCL can be obtained by visiting the website at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests for assistance can be directed to: Women Celebrating Life-Downriver, 23839 Van Horn Road, Flat Rock, MI 48134.